Malaysia cracks out reduced prices for eggs, though experts raise supply issue concerns

by Admin
Malaysia cracks out reduced prices for eggs, though experts raise supply issue concerns

SINGAPORE: Egg prices in Malaysia have dropped by three cents each, in a move that the government said was part of its plan to channel savings from its targeted subsidy rationalisations back to its citizens.

Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Monday (Jun 17) announced that the new prices for eggs with grades A, B and C are now 42 cents, 40 cents and 38 cents respectively. 

The retail prices for eggs in Sabah, Sarawak as well as Labuan will be adjusted according to the respective zones and districts, he added.

The Star reported Mr Anwar as saying that subsidies for eggs would cost the government RM100 million (US$21.1 million), as opposed to the subsidy allocation of RM927 million in 2023.

This amounts to around 10 cents per egg, inclusive of the latest three cents savings for consumers.

Mr Anwar had said that this development was due to the reduced production input cost for chicken eggs which mainly involved basic ingredients in chicken feed.

“I want to emphasise that issues related to the people’s cost of living will continue to be dealt with by the government in a more proactive and effective manner,” he reportedly said.

Meanwhile, experts whom Malaysian news outlets spoke to said that while they laud the government’s initiative to reduce the prices of eggs for consumers, such a move does not solve the perennial issue of a lack of chicken eggs.

Sunway University economics professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng was quoted as saying by The Star that channeling the subsidy savings towards raising the output of chicken eggs would be more beneficial in the long run.

“Increasing local farm output and productivity is crucial to addressing the persistently high food prices, as well as rising food import costs.

“More concerted efforts by the government in collaboration with the private sector are needed to increase efficiency and productivity in the food sector in order to keep prices low and stable for all households,” he said.

Separately, the managing director of popular local hypermart chain Mydin reportedly told Free Malaysia Today that the government should increase the availability of subsidised eggs in the market instead of subsidising their prices.

“With this price reduction, can the government guarantee that more eggs will be available? I doubt so.

“I don’t think the supply of subsidised eggs will be sufficient,” said Mr Ameer Ali Mydin, adding that there have not been enough eggs in the market in recent months.

The Mydin hypermarket boss also said that producers lack incentives to increase standard egg production under the current price control framework.

“If you allow the market forces to rule, automatically the supply will be boosted,” he said.

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